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Pointers along the way #622

Manipulate God?

- Jacob Ninan

It's sad to see how people who claim to be Christians have such a poor knowledge of God. They seem to think God can be manipulated to do whatever they want if they follow certain schemes. They are essentially trying to put God in a fix where He has to do what they want, because they have met certain conditions. Once they think they have met His conditions He has no other option but to give them what they ask!

Some 'claim' things by 'faith'. According to their understanding, faith is something they produce within their mind by forcefully believing He will do something, after trying to push away doubts and questions from their mind. They think that now that they have acquired this 'faith' God has to oblige them!

Some add fasting to this, and think that because they have made such a sacrifice God will be under pressure to give in to them. Some walk around a place, some use holy water, handkerchiefs or prayer shawls that have been prayed over by 'men of God', some keep a Jewish lamp-stand, some blow a ram's horn, some follow a certain pattern of prayer by imitating 'the Lord's prayer', some go on a pilgrimage, some give huge donations, etc. They think that doing this kind of things will make them specially entitled to favours from God.

It doesn't occur to them that in simple terms a prayer is a request to God (Php.4:6). He is God, and we are not at all in a position to make any demand of Him. Jesus has given us the privilege to go to God and ask Him for anything we want (Jn.16:23), provided we know that only if our prayer is according to His will there is a guarantee that He will give it to us (1Jn.5:14,15). How dare we go to Him and demand that He should do something for us because we have followed some methods or done something special!

This is not a mere lack of understanding. This is utter ignorance of who God is! When we go to God like this, we insult Him. We treat Him as if He is our servant or some clerk who has to give us something after we have filled up some forms!

How many preachers and authors are telling people about some new technique to get things from God! What kind of God are they presenting to people? Where is the respect and awe that we should have when we come before the Almighty God, the Creator of the universe? Where is the fear and trembling that should grip us when we stand before this holy God in whom there is no darkness at all?

Jesus has opened a way for us to enter God's presence by giving the price of His blood for that. Shall we just walk in casually, call Him Daddy, and give Him a list of things He has to get ready for us? And when He doesn't oblige, do we have the right to call Him names or express our displeasure over the so-called injustice? What do we know about God and who do we think we are?

God has been very gracious to us. He has not given us what we deserve and has given us what we don't deserve. Let's not think we can do things that will make us deserve what we ask for!


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